abas ERP offers businesses in the industrial manufacturing industry important features that help address their unique challenges. This article will look at three specific abas ERP features and explain how they benefit industrial manufacturers.
The Master Production Schedule
Many manufacturing and supply chain companies are driven by Make to Stock decisions in which they devise a production strategy based on forecasted consumer demand. Throughout production, however, there are several considerations that a manufacturer must make before it ships. Individual customer requirements, lead times, lot sizes, distribution channels - all of these and more can cause complex stocking situations. Being able to schedule the shop floor to maximize production while eliminating downtime can be extremely complex.
abas ERP's Master Production Schedule (MPS) tool allows manufacturers to dynamically assess requirements and gives the user all of the information necessary for an optimal manufacturing environment.
"The users can quickly identify resource availability and conflicts to ensure that production meets delivery schedule dates," Basil Shah, Logistics Consultant at abas USA, said. "At the same time, they have access to detailed reports that give them the information necessary to manage, plan and control the manufacturing environment."
The MPS also gives users a great deal of visibility at the sales order level - they can easily view supply, demand and the available-to-promise running balance of the item based on actual sales orders, forecasts and dependent demand.
"This control at the sales order level is quite powerful," Shah said. "This is a tool we're seeing more and more of our manufacturing customers demand. The flexible nature of abas ERP allows us to customize it to fit their individual needs."
The abas ERP Configurator
One of the distinguishing features of industrial manufacturing is that many products are configured to order. Customers can choose from a pre-existing catalog of products and choose certain features and options to match their exact specifications. This is crucial because it gives manufacturers a way to meet customer demand, outmaneuver low-cost competitors and build long-term relationships with their clients.
The Configurator easily integrates with a manufacturer's e-commerce platform to ensure order accuracy.
The Configurator gives customers the ability to choose which design features they want on their product. This can lead to a potential pitfall if a customer chooses a design that forces the manufacturer to produce it in a way that compromises product integrity. The abas ERP Configurator puts some of the control back in the hands of the manufacturer by using rule-based conditions that guide the customer to make sound choices in regard to product performance and production-side constraints.
The other component of the Configurator that makes it so useful for industrial manufacturers is that it integrates easily with an order entry platform, whether it's an e-commerce website or phone entry. Not only does this integration enhance order accuracy, but it makes it simple to maintain that collection of online product listings.
"The ease with which we can integrate our Configurator into a manufacturer's website and how easy it is to make changes – it gives the power back to the manufacturer. It unshackles them from having to rely on technical resources every time they come up with a new product or updates an existing one," Shah said. "With a couple pushes of a button, the Configurator can update the website with the new product information."
One of the most desired features that manufacturers look for in ERP software is the ability of the software to accommodate lot and serial control. Lots are specific quantities of items - such as components or subassemblies - with the same specifications. This can include quality, vendor, potency, age or any other characteristics. Lot control allows manufacturers to assign specific product information to each lot and track them through the entire production process.
This is especially important in highly regulated sectors like pharmaceuticals, medical supplies or even the aerospace industry. Regulatory guidelines require manufacturers in these industries to maintain a high level of traceability throughout production to ensure that whatever makes it to the customer is of the highest possible quality. In the event of a recall, manufacturers will know the exact customers that bought the defective products, what components went into those products, and where they originated.
But even in industries that aren't necessarily subject to the same strict regulations, lot control is a useful feature for scheduling and planning, since it allows a manufacturer to monitor the flow of inventory at each step of production. Quality and cost control are also factors here, since for many industrial manufacturers, customers are demanding better products at lower costs. Being able to see every lot helps manufacturers ensure the integrity of the final product.
"For one client of ours in the specialty steel manufacturing industry, controlling quality is a foundation of their success. From purchasing receipts, monitoring inventory movements, shop floor control and sales order fulfillments, our software not only meets these needs, but it goes beyond," Shah said.
In most ERP systems, lot control requires a significant amount of user inputs to achieve all of these benefits, which can slow down production runs. abas ERP overcomes this by streamlining the creation and attachment of the lots in the process. The flexibility and customizability of the abas software allows abas to tailor each implementation to our client’s specific processes.